The Ottawa Senators will be without one of their veteran forwards for the next while. According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, Artem Anisimov has been placed on injured reserve with a groin injury that will keep him out long-term. Anisimov was only recently activated by the Senators after missing several games and scored his second goal of the season last night against the Los Angeles Kings.
Now 31, Anisimov finds himself at something of a crossroad in his NHL career. After playing several seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and finding success with linemates like Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin, the Russian forward was traded for the third time in his career this July. The Blackhawks received just Zack Smith in return, a player who had scored just 14 goals since the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign, while the Senators hoped Anisimov could provide some veteran stability down the middle.
Unfortunately, a long-term injury puts that role into question. The Senators are embracing their core of young talent, scratching high salaried players like Bobby Ryan and Mikkel Boedker recently. If Anisimov misses a good chunk of this season, it certainly puts into question what his future in Ottawa can be.
With one more year on his contract that carries a $4.55MM cap hit, Anisimov could now be considered a bit overpriced for the impact he brings on a nightly basis. The fact that he’ll be owed a $1.5MM signing bonus next summer also makes his future more complicated, as the Senators haven’t been known to pay out money when they don’t have to.
If he can get back on the ice and healthy, perhaps there is another landing spot in Anisimov’s future. For now, he’ll have to just focus on his recovery and try to show he can still be a valuable NHL player.